Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with their increasing financial assistance have significantly contributed to Vietnam’s poverty reduction and socio-economic development.

According to the Committee for Foreign Non-Governmental Organisation Affairs, annual non-governmental aid ballooned from less than 100 million USD in 2002 to around 300 million USD in recent years.

During the 2002-2012 period, the NGOs have implemented more than 25,000 programmes, projects and aid packages totalling some 2.4 billion USD, with over 1.12 billion USD coming from North America, 813 million USD from Europe and more than 450 million USD from the Asia-Pacific.

The assistance, which makes up 0.21 to 0.45 percent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP), has come to all the 63 cities and provinces across the country.

Don Tuan Phong, Permanent Vice President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Associations, said the NGOs mainly focus on Vietnam’s priorities, especially health care, education, social issues, general development, the environment, climate change response and emergency aid.

Such support has helped Vietnam handle a range of issues, particularly poverty reduction and the improvement of local people’s living standards.

At the same time, Vietnam has opportunities to access new development models being applied by other countries worldwide, such as the community-based development model.

Thanks to NGO-funded projects, thousands of officials and hundreds of thousands of people have seen their capacity improved significantly. As a result, residents in targeted localities now know how to develop household economy and make their lives better.

Notably, the NGOs have contributed to enhancing understanding and expanding friendship and partnership between Vietnam and other countries across the world.

They also voiced their opinions to promote equal trade for Vietnam, with many opposing several countries’ anti-dumping duty imposed on Vietnamese products.

In the context that Vietnam has become a middle-income nation, official development assistance (ODA) suppliers have focused on development solutions instead of finance.

The country has been removed from the list of priorities by several donors of overseas NGOs.

The Vietnamese Party and State treasures the valuable and efficient support of governmental, international as well as non-governmental organisations, Phong said.

He added that under the national programme on facilitating non-governmental assistance for the 2013-2017 period, Vietnam will direct support to prioritised areas such as health care, education, agriculture and rural development, vocational training, social issues and climate change response.

Remote, far-flung, ethnic, rural and suburban areas will be targeted first, he added.-VNA